Fertile Ground for Port Making
Sonoma Portworks is the only winery in Sonoma County – and one of only a handful in California – to specialize in ports and after-dinner wines. The Sonoma Portworks portfolio includes port, sherry, aperitif, grappa and their Sonomic “almost vinegar.”
By the Numbers
Owners Bill and Caryn Reading take a small-scale, artisanal approach to their business. They produce about 2,000 cases a year—83 designated for the Reserve line—from hand-harvested grapes grown on land farmed by the same family for six generations. Production involves one hand-powered pallet jack, 10 five-gallon buckets, and 12 feet (the Readings’ and those of friends and family) that gently extract 720+ gallons of juice that’s aged up to 6 years in recycled barrels.
Once opened, a bottle of Portworks wine will stay delicious up to eight weeks.
Launched in the Sonoma Valley in 1994, Sonoma Portworks expanded to Petaluma’s Foundry Wharf in 2003, establishing a production facility first, and then adding a tasting room in 2007.
Bill and Caryn find it immensely valuable to be smack dab in the Bay Area’s most accessible (and delicious) food and beverage hotspot. They incorporate locally made cheese, chocolate and baked goods into their tastings, and even collaborate with another Petaluma business—Stillwater Spirits—to produce their award-winning grappa.
“Petaluma has got so much to offer from a consumables standpoint,” says Bill. “We’ve got butchers, bakers, candlestick makers – plus many others – crafting wonderful products that delight residents and visitors alike.”
Petaluma’s proximity to the coast, Wine Country and San Francisco, as well as its natural beauty, complement what might be Petaluma’s best feature–its people. Along with being active participants in the Petaluma Downtown Association, Bill and Caryn host a monthly storytelling event, called West Side Stories, that draws residents from all walks of life.
“This is a real town with a real sense of community,” says Bill. “Everyone works well together to keep Petaluma thriving.”
Something to Say?